It’s been a year like no other. With the COVID-19 outbreak spreading across most of the world, this year has tested us in ways few could have imagined. And though it would be easy to focus on the negatives, we want to leave 2020 on a positive note and highlight some of the good things that have come out of this year. There is still hope! We asked everyone here at 95.7 ELMNT FM what their top picks were and here is what they had to say.
Matthew Bisson – Station Manager and PM News
What are your top album picks for 2020?
- Phoebe Bridges – Punisher
- Kathleen Edwards – Total Freedom
- Run The Jewels – 4
- Land of Talk – Indistinct Conversations & Hannah Georgas – All That Emotion (Tie)
- Raye Zaragoza – Woman in Colour
What about favourite songs?
- Run The Jewels – Ooh La La
- Kathleen Edwards – Feelings Fade
- Hannah Georgas – The Emotion
- Tampe Impala – Is It True
- Taylor Swift ft. Bon Iver – Exile
Moving on to movies/TV shows, what are some of your highlights in 2020?
- Borat: Subsequent Moviefilm
- Birds of Prey
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix*
- The Imitation Game*
*Not released in 2020, but I only saw three movies this year, so I am rounding out the top five with two movies that I had not watched before this year.
- The Mandalorian
- Ted Lasso
- Better Call Saul
What about favourite book of 2020?
- From The Ashes – Jesse Thistle*
- High School – Tegan and Sara Quinn*
- Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga*
- Eight Dates – John M. Gottman, Doug Abrams, Rachel Carleton Abrams, Julie L. Schwartz*
- Into The Mystic – Christopher Hill
*I didn’t reach any books released in 2020. These are all books I read for the first time this year.
Jill Kennedy – Afternoon Drive
So, what are you top album picks for 2020?
Okay…where do I even begin! HAIM’s Women in Music Pt. III is my pick for number one, hands down. In terms of pop records, I loved:
- Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure?
- Lady Gaga – Chromatica
My indie and folk picks are:
- Choir Boy – Gathering Swans
- Fiona Apple – Fetch the Bolt Cutters
- Andy Shauf – Neon Skyline
- Phoebe Bridges – Punisher
- Rave Zaragoza – Women in Colour
- Soccer Mommy – Colour Theory
- Taylor Swift – Folklore
- Waxahatchee – Saint Cloud
What about favourite songs?
The albums above are full of amazingness so I thought I’d focus on favourite tunes of the year from other artists and albums:
- Sylvan Esso – Ferris wheel
- Fickle Friend – Kerosene
- Moscow Apartment – New Girl
- Chloe x Halle – Ungodly Hour
- Run the Jewels – Walking in the Snow
- Grimes – Delete Forever
Even though movie theatres were closed for most of the year, did you get a chance to enjoy any movies/TV shows in 2020?
From 2020, I enjoyed Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and I’m Thinking of Ending Things. But as far as movies, I watched for the first time this year that didn’t come out in 2020, I really liked Wings of Desire, Carnival of Souls, and Jojo Rabbit. Television was on-point this year! I loved Queen’s Gambit, Schitt’s Creek, Sex Education and I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. My guilty pleasure shows were Tiger King and Emily in Paris.
What about favourite book of 2020?
This year, I thoroughly enjoyed Chani Nicholas’ You Were born for This, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists and Lianne Moriarty’s Big Little Lies.
And finally, what are your top video game picks for 2020?
It was an amazing year for video games! I got lost in Animal Crossing, spent hours playing Among Us and stepped out of my comfort zone to try Crusader Kings III. Other tried and true favourites were Pokemon Shield, Mario Party and Super Mario Odyssey.
Aiden Wolf – Wake up Ottawa
Gosh, doesn’t picking your favourite ANYTHING from 2020 feel like trying to find your favourite strain of athlete’s foot from the gym? This has been a year, not going to lie, but there have been a few bonuses.
Let’s start with favourite TV show of 2020.
From watching perspective, TV has not been my main go-to this year, but I have been fortunate enough to dabble in a few great shows. Ratched is by far the most disturbing experience I have ever had in front of the small screen, yet I cannot look away. Do your homework before deciding on this one though, as it doesn’t take long to test your resolve in the second episode.
But even with all that goodness, I CANNOT give it top billing.
Space Force with Steve Carell and John Malkovich did everything it promised to, and despite a bunch of sore loser reviewers who wanted another Office-type show based on the moon, I thought it was one of the best of 2020.
What about favourite movies in 2020?
If there is one thing I did less than TV, it was movies. Honestly, the only movie I can remember was that horrendous Christmas movie that I watched to review on the morning show. It doesn’t deserve a single breath on this list, so I will skip it over for now.
Any gaming top picks?
All that time I spent not watching movies, was spent toiling away on video games. Of course, most of us believed that Cyberpunk 2077 would top the list this year regardless, but sadly it has fallen short.
Don’t get me wrong, I do like the game.
But it is a far stretch from best game of 2020, and more of an okay title that I play when bored of the great games.
Among Us, Horizon Zero Dawn (PC Version), Animal Crossing…I mean I could go on for hours. But the one game that stole most of my time this year was – Call of Duty: Warzone.
I mean, time spent playing IS the ultimate test, right?
Favourite books in 2020?
Now it wasn’t a 2020 release, but I am sure you can tell I am not one of those ‘hot off the press readers’. I love anything and everything that Joe Abercrombie does, and his latest, ‘A Little Hatred’ was different.
I know right? Sounds cheerful.
Once again, it isn’t for everyone, but if you like fantasy, but without all the magic, and Game of Thrones was up your alley, give his first trilogy ‘The First Law’ a try.
Can’t recommend enough.
Moving on to music. What are your top album picks for 2020?
This is an easy one. For the most part this year, I have been digging into some older albums, and one from 2019 that really hit the spot was from Tool – Fear Inoculum.
But from 2020, the only one that has hit my playlist more than once is Metallica S&M 2. No, it isn’t what you think, it is Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.
Just all the goosebumps people…all the goosebumps.
What about Favourite Songs?
Do remember, most of these were appreciated by me while renovating my house. In no specific order:
- Bring Me The Horizon – Parasite Eve
- The Used – Paradise Lost
- The Hu – Wolf Totem
- Falling in Reverse – Popular Monster
- I Prevail ft. Joyner Lucas – DOA *video has a trigger warning*
Jay Herrington – Wake Up Ottawa
What are you top album picks for 2020?
My favourite ‘album’ is going to have to be expanded to favourite new artist. Leonard Summer’s Dreamcatcher is my favourite song – and I haven’t had a new favourite in quite some time. And, that’s got me listening to Summer’s other stuff. I dig it.
What about favourite TV show?
Nothing new (I don’t think) for me this year – but I did discover ‘New Girl’ on Netflix. I’m 18 years-or-so to the party on this one. Some of the funniest writing I’ve ever seen on network television. I’ve also rediscovered my love for Breaking Bad and am working on getting caught up on Better Call Saul. Awesome franchise.
Did you have a favourite cinematic performance?
I believe I made it to the movie theatre once this year, before the pandemic began. So mark me down for DIsney-Pixar’s Onward. The kids loved it.
What is your favourite book of 2020?
I read quite a bit of everything, but when I need to escape and turn my brain off from reality (thanks, 2020), I always go back to my favourite series: Stephen King’s The Dark Tower. I’ve read all seven books in the series, repeatedly, over the years, and this year has been no different.
A lot happened this year. What would you say is your favourite *positive* news-worthy moment of 2020?
Gotta be how Ottawans have dealt with – and continue to deal with – the pandemic. Either that, or how the world seemingly turned on everyone named Karen.
Kayla Whiteduck – Mid-Days
Hey Kayla, what’s been your favourite album in 2020?
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours! I was always a fan of Fleetwood Mac, in fact, they were the best live concert I have ever seen a few years ago when I was living in Calgary. I got the vinyl for Christmas last year and I ended up playing it on repeat over the lockdown. But, I am probably not the only one who feels this way thanks to Nathan Apodaca’s influence!
What about TV shows? If you didn’t watch any that were released in 2020, which ones got you through this year?
The Office, hands down. I know it’s old but I wasn’t interested when it first came out. After we finished binging Friends, my partner and I took the plunge and started The Office during lockdown. Within a few episodes, it became one of our favourite shows ever! Low and behold we watch an episode (or two) every night before bed now! 🙂
Despite a lot of events being cancelled, the industry kept things going with virtual and online events. What event or experience did enjoy the most in 2020?
The 2020 Indigenous Summer Solstice! It was even more special because I got to host it virtually and it was a ton of fun. Plus, the performances were amazing, we had the Johnny’s, Silla and Rise and others! I hope we take part in this in person in 2021.
What about Favourite Games?
PlayStation, Modern Warfare! I don’t think my partner liked the idea as much but hey, it got me by some of those long lockdown days!
Cody Coyote – The Beat
Quick! Sum up your most favourite things that have come out from the year 2020. Go!
Some of my favourite things about 2020 would undoubtedly be the release of Busta Rhymes and Bell Big Defoe’s ‘Outta My Mind’ as it made Hip-Hop history. Also, in the world of Hip-Hop, KRS-One released an epic album entitled ‘Between Da Protests’ which, in my opinion, is one of the hottest Hip-Hop albums of 2020.